The New Social Environment#676

First Encounters with Marcel Duchamp

Featuring Bradley Bailey, Thierry de Duve, Thomas Girst, Rudolf Herz, Michael R. Taylor, Carroll Janis, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, and Francis Naumann


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Join the Rail’s October Critics Page contributors for a conversation with guest critic Francis Naumann. We conclude with a poetry reading by Evan Gill Smith.

In this talk

Read The Brooklyn Rail’s October 2022 Critics Page →

Carroll Janis

Carroll Janis is an art historian who has taught at Columbia, Hunter, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. He was director of the Sidney Janis Gallery for two decades. He organized the integrated exhibition in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. held at MOMA in October 1968.

Thierry de Duve

Photo of Thierry de Duve
Historian and philosopher of art Thierry de Duve is Evelyn Kranes Kossak Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York. His English publications include Sewn In the Sweatshops of Marx: Beuys, Warhol, Klein, Duchamp (2012), and Aesthetics at Large, Volume One: Art, Ethics, Politics (2018)., among others Two volumes of his Essais datés, published in French by Mamco in Geneva, have appeared in the last few years: Vol. I, Duchampiana, in 2014, and Vol. II, Adresses, in 2016. His next book, titled Duchamp’s Telegram, From Beaux-Arts to Art-in-General, is forthcoming from Reaktion Books, London, at the beginning of 2023. He is presently working on Volume Two of Aesthetics at Large.

Thomas Girst

Photo of Thomas Girst
Author Thomas Girst has been Head of Cultural Engagement at the BMW Group since 2003. He was founding editor of Tout-Fait: The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal and is the author of The Indefinite Duchamp. In 2012 he curated “Marcel Duchamp in Munich 1912” at the Lenbachhaus, Munich.

Rudolf Herz

Photo of Rudolf Herz
German sculptor and media artist Rudolf Herz studied sculpture and art education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and art history, history and archeology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. In 1995, Herz obtained his doctorate in art history and visual communication at the University of Oldenburg. He has an interest for “highly sensitive historical topics and their relation to the present time”. His most renowned work, the spatial installation Zugzwang, was internationally exhibited, including at The Jewish Museum in New York in 2002.

Michael R. Taylor

Photo of Michael R. Taylor
A London native, Dr. Michael R. Taylor joined VMFA in 2015 as the Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art & Education. Taylor served as Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College until March 2015. Prior to his tenure at Hood, Taylor spent his career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1997 until 2011, most recently as the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art and Head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. A highly regarded museum administrator, curator, author, and expert on modern and contemporary art, Taylor is a scholar of Dada and Surrealism with a focus on the work and ideas of Marcel Duchamp.

Linda Dalrymple Henderson

Portrait of art historian Linda Dalrymple Henderson
Linda Dalrymple Henderson retired from the University of Texas in August 2021 as the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art History Emeritus. She earned her PhD at Yale University in 1975 and taught 20th-century art in the Department of Art and Art History from 1978 to 2021. Before joining the University of Texas, she served from 1974 through 1977 as Curator of Modern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Professor Henderson’s research and teaching have centered on modern art and modernism, more generally, in relation to their broader cultural context, including ideas such as “the fourth dimension,” the history of science and technology, and mystical and occult philosophies.

Bradley Bailey

Photo of Bradley Bailey
Scholar and curator Bradley Bailey, Ph.D., is an associate professor of art history and program director of the department at Saint Louis University. His numerous publications on Marcel Duchamp include the book Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess (2009), which he co-authored with Francis M. Naumann and Jennifer Shahade. As a curator, his exhibitions “Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess” and “Out of the Box: Artists Play Chess” have been written about in The New York Times and ARTNews. His analysis of the origins of Fountain drawn from an unpublished interview with Duchamp will be published in the Fall 2022 issue of October.

Francis Naumann

Photo of Francis Naumann
Independent scholar, curator, and art dealer Francis M. Naumann specializes in the art of the Dada and Surrealist periods. He is author of numerous articles and exhibition catalogues and has organized multiple exhibitions, including Conversion to Modernism: The Early Work of Man Ray (Rutgers University Press, 2002) and “Making Mischief: Dada Invades New York” for the Whitney Museum of American Art. His most recent book is Mentors: The Making of an Art Historian (Doppelhouse Books, 2019). Through 2019 he owned and operated a gallery in New York City which specialized in art from the Dada and Surrealist periods as well as work by contemporary artists who possess related aesthetic sensibilities.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Evan Gill Smith reading.

Evan Gill Smith

A black and white photo of Evan Smith with on arm on a table, one covering his chin
Evan Gill Smith is a writer and psychoanalyst-in-formation living in New York. He teaches writing at CUNY Baruch.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.